La révolution ne meurt jamais الثورة لا تموت

Sketch on Recycled Paper & Digital Art, Beirut, 2020

Aujourd’hui est le 100e jour depuis le 17 octobre 2019. Célébrons ensemble les dynamiques révolutionnaires en dépit des obstacles et défis. Toute révolution constitue un processus. La nôtre a commencé avant le 17 octobre et se poursuit tout au long des expériences révolutionnaires individuelles et collectives depuis le 17 octobre en laissant à chaque fois des suites et ruptures toujours vivantes.

La révolution est en fait un organisme social vivant qui ne meurt jamais.

اليوم هو اليوم المئة منذ 17 أكتوبر/تشرين الاول 2019. لنحتفل معاً بالديناميات الثورية على الرغم من العقبات والتحديات. أي ثورة هي صيرورة وسيرورة. وقد بدأت ثورتنا قبل 17 أكتوبر وتستمر مع التجارب الثورية الفردية والجماعية منذ 17 أكتوبر، وفي كل مرة تترك وراءها بصمات ازلية.

الثورة هي كائن حي اجتماعي لا يموت.

Towards Building New Models in Lebanon?

The Ring – Beirut, January 14, 2020

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

Fuller’s quote somehow makes sense. Indeed, should we work against establishments? Or should we help them transform for the better?According to Fuller, the second option is the best. I couldn’t agree more, but replacing existing models such as socio-political and economic systems of management as well as cultural norms with new systems and norms, requires a transformational journey – – both individual and collective, and therefore, deconstruction before reconstruction. Fuller went through such a journey before coming up with his famous quote.

It is clear there have been well thought and practiced alternative models on small scales (in classrooms and workshops, through activities organized by NGOs, in academic writings and artistic works, to name just a few of the many channels used in the last two to three decades), and that there is indeed a need for new large-scale models, but many Lebanese are not ready for them, or are simply not ready for change. And when people aren’t ready, they feel victimized, and they respond negatively. This behavior is called “resistance to change”. This resistance is the result of decades of wars and conflicts with their load of change which was inflicted on people, keeping them on the edge, nurturing their traumas. Many Lebanese lost trust in change, which makes it harder to think of and implement change in the present time.

In other words, changing existing entrenched and coercive models requires we all have to go through fighting/deconstructing them even if at different paces, in order to understand individually and collectively that the next step, whether tomorrow or in a few years, would be to build new models that are so desirable and so successful that most people will clamor for them.

For those of us who are unhappy with the way our country is managed now and has been managed for the last decades, and particularly for those of us who ache to see how much Lebanon is mired in painful poverty, inequalities and ignorance: let the deconstruction dynamics take place as they need to, and start working — if we want to and are ready to do it – – on the next phase, which is to build something new together. Nevertheless, before rebuilding systems of management, let us remind ourselves that we need to deconstruct then reconstruct the fundamental infrastructures of our systems of knowledge and mentalities that enable the different peoples living in Lebanon to become self-governing, empowered and ready to embrace change.

I don’t know exactly how we’re going to pull that off. I don’t know how long it will take. It might be our children or grandchildren who complete whatever we’re laying the foundation for, as coercive states, warlords and mafias aren’t going to suddenly go away, nor regional conflicts, but I know it’s worth it, because the future of our country depends on it.

CAFCAW Executive Committee Meeting in Cyprus

CAFCAW Executive Committee Meeting. Planning for 2020 towards Inclusive Societies in Western Asia. With Drs. Mitri Raheb, Nicolas Abou Mrad, Inas Deeb and Mary Mikhael.

Ayia Napa, Cyprus — January 3 & 4, 2020.